Table (information)

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The Collection of Rows and Columns. That is Called Table

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An example table rendered in a web browser using HTML. Table-sample-appearance-default-params-values-01.gif
An example table rendered in a web browser using HTML.

A table is an arrangement of data in rows and columns, or possibly in a more complex structure. Tables are widely used in communication, research, and data analysis. Tables appear in print media, handwritten notes, computer software, architectural ornamentation, traffic signs, and many other places. The precise conventions and terminology for describing tables vary depending on the context. Further, tables differ significantly in variety, structure, flexibility, notation, representation and use. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] In books and technical articles, tables are typically presented apart from the main text in numbered and captioned floating blocks.

Data facts represented for handling

Data is a set of values of subjects with respect to qualitative or quantitative variables.

Communication is the act of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs, symbols, and semiotic rules.

Research formal work undertaken systematically to increase the stock of knowledge

Research "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications." It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories. A research project may also be an expansion on past work in the field. Research projects can be used to develop further knowledge on a topic, or in the example of a school research project, they can be used to further a student's research prowess to prepare them for future jobs or reports. To test the validity of instruments, procedures, or experiments, research may replicate elements of prior projects or the project as a whole. The primary purposes of basic research are documentation, discovery, interpretation, or the research and development (R&D) of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge. Approaches to research depend on epistemologies, which vary considerably both within and between humanities and sciences. There are several forms of research: scientific, humanities, artistic, economic, social, business, marketing, practitioner research, life, technological, etc. The scientific study of research practices is known as metascience.

Basic description

A table consists of an ordered arrangement of rows and columns. This is a simplified description of the most basic kind of table. Certain considerations follow from this simplified description:

In the context of a relational database, a row—also called a tuple—represents a single, implicitly structured data item in a table. In simple terms, a database table can be thought of as consisting of rows and columns. Each row in a table represents a set of related data, and every row in the table has the same structure.

In computer science, a record is a basic data structure. Records in a database or spreadsheet are usually called "rows".

In mathematics, a tuple is a finite ordered list (sequence) of elements. An n-tuple is a sequence of n elements, where n is a non-negative integer. There is only one 0-tuple, an empty sequence, or empty tuple, as it is referred to. An n-tuple is defined inductively using the construction of an ordered pair.

The elements of a table may be grouped, segmented, or arranged in many different ways, and even nested recursively. Additionally, a table may include metadata, annotations, a header, [6] a footer or other ancillary features. [5]

Recursion process of repeating items in a self-similar way

Recursion occurs when a thing is defined in terms of itself or of its type. Recursion is used in a variety of disciplines ranging from linguistics to logic. The most common application of recursion is in mathematics and computer science, where a function being defined is applied within its own definition. While this apparently defines an infinite number of instances, it is often done in such a way that no loop or infinite chain of references can occur.

Metadata data about data

Metadata is "data [information] that provides information about other data". Many distinct types of metadata exist, among these descriptive metadata, structural metadata, administrative metadata, reference metadata and statistical metadata.

In typography and word processing, the page footer of a printed page is a section located under the main text, or body. Traditionally it was and still is the space for the page number. In the earliest printed books also it contained the first words of the next page; in this case they preferred to place the page number in the page header, in the top margin. Because of the lack of a set standard, in modern times the header and footer are sometimes interchangeable. In some instances, there are elements of the header inserted into the footer, such as the book or chapter title, the name of the author or other information. In the publishing industry the page footer is traditionally known as the running foot, whereas the page header is the running head.

Simple table

The following illustrates a simple table with three columns and nine rows. The first row is not counted, because it is only used to display the column names. This is called a "header row".

Age table
First nameLast nameAge
TinuElejogun14
BlaszczykKostrzewski25
LilyMcGarrett18
OlatunkboChijiaku22
AdrienneAnthoula22
AxeliaAthanasios22
Jon-KabatZinn22
ThabangMosoa15
KgaogeloMosoa11

Multi-dimensional table

An example of a table containing rows with summary information. The summary information consists of subtotals that are combined from previous rows within the same column. Rollup table.png
An example of a table containing rows with summary information. The summary information consists of subtotals that are combined from previous rows within the same column.

The concept of dimension is also a part of basic terminology. [7] Any "simple" table can be represented as a "multi-dimensional" table by normalizing the data values into ordered hierarchies. A common example of such a table is a multiplication table.

Database normalization is the process of structuring a relational database in accordance with a series of so-called normal forms in order to reduce data redundancy and improve data integrity. It was first proposed by Edgar F. Codd as an integral part of his relational model.

In mathematics, a multiplication table is a mathematical table used to define a multiplication operation for an algebraic system.

Multiplication table
×123
1123
2246
3369

In multi-dimensional tables, each cell in the body of the table (and the value of that cell) relates to the values at the beginnings of the column (i.e. the header), the row, and other structures in more complex tables. This is an injective relation: each combination of the values of the headers row (row 0, for lack of a better term) and the headers column (column 0 for lack of a better term) is related to a unique cell in the table:

Injective function function that preserves distinctness

In mathematics, an injective function or injection or one-to-one function is a function that preserves distinctness: it never maps distinct elements of its domain to the same element of its codomain. In other words, every element of the function's codomain is the image of at most one element of its domain. The term one-to-one function must not be confused with one-to-one correspondence, which uniquely maps all elements in both domain and codomain to each other.

The first column often presents information dimension description by which the rest of the table is navigated. This column is called "stub column". Tables may contain three or multiple dimensions and can be classified by the number of dimensions. Multi-dimensional tables may have super-rows - rows that describe additional dimensions for the rows that are presented below that row and are usually grouped in a tree-like structure. This structure is typically visually presented with an appropriate number of white spaces in front of each stub's label [8] .

In literature tables often present numerical values, cumulative statistics, categorical values, and at times parallel descriptions in form of text [9] . They can condense large amount of information to a limited space and therefore they are popular in scientific literature in many fields of study.

Generic representation

As a communication tool, a table allows a form of generalization of information from an unlimited number of different social or scientific contexts. It provides a familiar way to convey information that might otherwise not be obvious or readily understood.

For example, in the following diagram, two alternate representations of the same information are presented side by side. On the left is the NFPA 704 standard "fire diamond" with example values indicated and on the right is a simple table displaying the same values, along with additional information. Both representations convey essentially the same information, but the tabular representation is arguably more comprehensible to someone who is not familiar with the NFPA 704 standard. The tabular representation may not, however, be ideal for every circumstance (for example because of space limitations, or safety reasons).

Adrien Auzout's "A TABLE of the Apertures of Object-Glasses" from a 1665 article in Philosophical Transactions Philosophical Transactions - Volume 001.djvu
Adrien Auzout's "A TABLE of the Apertures of Object-Glasses" from a 1665 article in Philosophical Transactions
Fire diamond
Standard RepresentationTabular Representation
Flammability code 2: Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperature before ignition can occur. Flash point between 38 and 93 °C (100 and 200 °F). E.g., diesel fuelHealth code 3: Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury. E.g., chlorine gasReactivity code 1: Normally stable, but can become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressures. E.g., calciumSpecial hazards (white): no codeTable (information)
2
3
1
Risk levels of hazardous materials in this facility
Health RiskFlammabilityReactivitySpecial
Level 3Level 2Level 1

Specific uses

There are several specific situations in which tables are routinely used as a matter of custom or formal convention.

Publishing

Mathematics

Natural sciences

Information technology

Software applications

Modern software applications give users the ability to generate, format, and edit tables and tabular data for a wide variety of uses, for example:

Software development

Tables have uses in software development for both high-level specification and low-level implementation. Usage in software specification can encompass ad hoc inclusion of simple decision tables in textual documents through to the use of tabular specification methodologies, examples of which include SCR [10] and Statestep. [11] Proponents of tabular techniques, among whom David Parnas is prominent, emphasize their understandability, as well as the quality and cost advantages of a format allowing systematic inspection, [12] while corresponding shortcomings experienced with a graphical notation were cited in motivating the development of at least two tabular approaches. [11] [13]

At a programming level, software may be implemented using constructs generally represented or understood as tabular, whether to store data (perhaps to memoize earlier results), for example, in arrays or hash tables, or control tables determining the flow of program execution in response to various events or inputs.

Databases

Database systems often store data in structures called tables; in which columns are data fields and rows represent data records.

Historical relationship to furniture

In medieval counting houses, the tables were covered with a piece of checkered cloth, to count money. Exchequer is an archaic term for the English institution which accounted for money owed to the monarch. Thus the checkerboard tables of stacks of coins are a concrete realization of this information.

See also

Related Research Articles

In computer science, an array data structure, or simply an array, is a data structure consisting of a collection of elements, each identified by at least one array index or key. An array is stored such that the position of each element can be computed from its index tuple by a mathematical formula. The simplest type of data structure is a linear array, also called one-dimensional array.

A relational database is a digital database based on the relational model of data, as proposed by E. F. Codd in 1970. A software system used to maintain relational databases is a relational database management system (RDBMS). Virtually all relational database systems use SQL for querying and maintaining the database.

Relational model database model

The relational model (RM) for database management is an approach to managing data using a structure and language consistent with first-order predicate logic, first described in 1969 by English computer scientist Edgar F. Codd, where all data is represented in terms of tuples, grouped into relations. A database organized in terms of the relational model is a relational database.

A spreadsheet is an interactive computer application for organization, analysis and storage of data in tabular form. Spreadsheets developed as computerized analogs of paper accounting worksheets. The program operates on data entered in cells of a table. Each cell may contain either numeric or text data, or the results of formulas that automatically calculate and display a value based on the contents of other cells. A spreadsheet may also refer to one such electronic document.

Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) is an open standard defining a digital file format useful for storage, transmission and processing of data: formatted as N-dimensional arrays, or tables. FITS is the most commonly used digital file format in astronomy. The FITS standard has special (optional) features for scientific data, for example it includes many provisions for describing photometric and spatial calibration information, together with image origin metadata.

Extract, transform, load

In computing, extract, transform, load (ETL) is the general procedure of copying data from one or more sources into a destination system which represents the data differently from the source(s). The ETL process became a popular concept in the 1970s and is often used in data warehousing.

The BMP file format, also known as bitmap image file or device independent bitmap (DIB) file format or simply a bitmap, is a raster graphics image file format used to store bitmap digital images, independently of the display device, especially on Microsoft Windows and OS/2 operating systems.

In computing, a comma-separated values (CSV) file is a delimited text file that uses a comma to separate values. A CSV file stores tabular data in plain text. Each line of the file is a data record. Each record consists of one or more fields, separated by commas. The use of the comma as a field separator is the source of the name for this file format.

Graph (abstract data type) abstract data type in computer science

In computer science, a graph is an abstract data type that is meant to implement the undirected graph and directed graph concepts from mathematics; specifically, the field of graph theory.

OLAP cube

An OLAP cube is a multi-dimensional array of data. Online analytical processing (OLAP) is a computer-based technique of analyzing data to look for insights. The term cube here refers to a multi-dimensional dataset, which is also sometimes called a hypercube if the number of dimensions is greater than 3.

Zachman Framework

The Zachman Framework is an enterprise ontology and is a fundamental structure for Enterprise Architecture which provides a formal and structured way of viewing and defining an enterprise. The ontology is a two dimensional classification schema that reflects the intersection between two historical classifications. The first are primitive interrogatives: What, How, When, Who, Where, and Why. The second is derived from the philosophical concept of reification, the transformation of an abstract idea into an instantiation. The Zachman Framework reification transformations are: Identification, Definition, Representation, Specification, Configuration and Instantiation.

Column (database) set of data values of a particular simple type

In a relational database, a column is a set of data values of a particular simple type, one value for each row of the database. A column may contain text values, numbers, or even pointers to files in the operating system. Some relational database systems allow columns to contain more complex data types; whole documents, images or even video clips are examples. A column can also be called an attribute.

A table is a collection of related data held in a table format within a database. It consists of columns, and rows.

A pivot table is a table of statistics that summarizes the data of a more extensive table. This summary might include sums, averages, or other statistics, which the pivot table groups together in a meaningful way.

Data drilling refers to any of various operations and transformations on tabular, relational, and multidimensional data. The term has widespread use in various contexts, but is primarily associated with specialized software designed specifically for data analysis.

Data Interchange Format (.dif) is a text file format used to import/export single spreadsheets between spreadsheet programs. One limitation is that DIF format cannot handle multiple spreadsheets in a single workbook.

Entity–attribute–value model (EAV) is a data model to encode, in a space-efficient manner, entities where the number of attributes that can be used to describe them is potentially vast, but the number that will actually apply to a given entity is relatively modest. Such entities correspond to the mathematical notion of a sparse matrix.

Database model generic structure of a database type, for instance relational

A database model is a type of data model that determines the logical structure of a database and fundamentally determines in which manner data can be stored, organized and manipulated. The most popular example of a database model is the relational model, which uses a table-based format.

Numbers is a spreadsheet application developed by Apple Inc. as part of the iWork productivity suite alongside Keynote and Pages. Numbers is available for iOS, and macOS High Sierra or newer. Numbers 1.0 on OS X was announced on 7 August 2007, making it the newest application in the iWork suite. The iPad version was released on 27 January 2010. The app was later updated to support iPhone and iPod Touch.

In mathematics, in the area of combinatorial designs, an orthogonal array is a "table" (array) whose entries come from a fixed finite set of symbols, arranged in such a way that there is an integer t so that for every selection of t columns of the table, all ordered t-tuples of the symbols, formed by taking the entries in each row restricted to these columns, appear the same number of times. The number t is called the strength of the orthogonal array. Here is a simple example of an orthogonal array with symbol set {1,2} and strength 2:

References

  1. Fink, Arlene (2005). How to Conduct Surveys. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. ISBN   1-4129-1423-X.
  2. McNabb, David (2002). Research Methods in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe. ISBN   0-7656-0957-6.
  3. Morgan, George (2004). Spss for Introductory Statistics. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum. ISBN   0-8058-4789-8.
  4. Robey, David (2000). Sound and Structure in the Divine Comedy. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. ISBN   0-19-818498-0.
  5. 1 2 Zielinski, Krzysztof (2006). Software Engineering: Evolution and Emerging Technologies. Amsterdam: IOS Press. ISBN   1-58603-559-2.
  6. see e.g., Page header or Header (computing)
  7. The concept of "dimension" is often applied to tables in different contexts and with different meanings. For example, what is described as a "Simple Table" in this article is alternatively described as a "two dimensional array". This is distinct from "multi-dimensional table" as presented in this article.
  8. Milosevic N, Gregson C, Hernandez R, Nenadic G (June 2016). "Disentangling the Structure of Tables in Scientific Literature". Proceedings of 21st International Conference on Applications of Natural Language to Information Systems (NLDB 2016): 162–174. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-41754-7_14.
  9. Milosevic N, Gregson C, Hernandez R, Nenadic G (February 2019). "A framework for information extraction from tables in biomedical literature". International Journal on Document Analysis and Recognition (IJDAR). 22 (1): 55–78. doi:10.1007/s10032-019-00317-0.
  10. Heitmeyer, Constance L. (2002). "Software Cost Reduction". Washington D.C.: Naval Research Laboratory
  11. 1 2 Breen, Michael (2005). "Experience of using a lightweight formal specification method for a commercial embedded system product line" (PDF). Requirements Engineering Journal. 10 (2): 161–172. doi:10.1007/s00766-004-0209-1
  12. Janicki, Ryszard; Parnas, David Lorge; Zucker, Jeffery (1997). "Tabular representations in relational documents". In Brink, C.; Kahl, W.; Schmidt, G. (eds.). Relational Methods in Computer Science. Springer Verlag. ISBN   3-211-82971-7
  13. Leveson, Nancy G.; Heimdahl, Mats P. E.; Reese, Jon Damon (1999). "Designing Specification Languages for Process-Control Systems: Lessons Learned and Steps to the Future". Seventh ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations on Software Engineering (PDF). doi:10.1145/318773.318937